ELKHART, Ind. (AP) — Officials at a northern Indiana museum say they were stunned that a 19th-century sculpture it had owned for more than 40 years ago recently sold at auction for $7.55 million, exceeding estimates for the work.
The Ruthmere Museum’s 1894 limestone sculpture by French artist Auguste Rodin sold on Nov. 12 at Sotheby’s New York gallery.
Profits from the sale of the historic Rodin sculpture, named La Cariatide Tombée Portant Sa Pierre, or The Fallen Caryatid Carrying Her Stone, will help build a $10 million endowment for the Elkhart museum. The sculpture’s proceeds will also help pay for the museum’s overhauls.
The museum’s executive director, Bill Firstenberger, says the final selling price was a “a very pleasant shock” after the gallery had its value estimated between $4 million and $6 million.